A TASTE OF ITALY IN SUMMER HILL

June 24, 2016
Orecchiette Broccoli E Salsiccia

Orecchiette Broccoli E Salsiccia

Da Vinci’s Italian Restaurant located in the pleasant village shopping area of Summer Hill, not far from Sydney’s Italian hub of Leichhardt, had my husband and I feeling like we had been to Italy for the day after a recent visit.

DSC09190With plenty of tables available outside for diners to enjoy the sunshine, alas the day we visited for lunch, Sydney was undergoing a weekend of storms, but not to worry, the warm and inviting atmosphere inside Da Vinci’s was perfect for a relaxing long lunch.

The family friendly environment, where several large family groups from babies to grandparents were enjoying the convivial surrounds, along with couples and a few solo diners, gave one the feeling that this is how it always is at Da Vinci’s.

We began with an Aperol Spritz to get us into an Italian mood as we enjoyed an appetizer of baked bocconcini cheese wrapped in prosciutto with basil, followed by Orecchiette Broccoli E Salsiccia, a sensational homemade orecchiette pasta with Italian sausage and broccoli, which had our taste buds working overtime – so delicious.

The wood fired pizza oven at the front of the restaurant was a definite signal that we should try one of their famous Roman style pizzas, made from a special light flour imported from Italy, that creates the extra light and thin pizza base. We loved the robust flavour of our Eggplant Pizza with Basil.

IMG_9137We could not leave without trying some of their award winning famous gelato, which is freshly made on the premises. We shared rum & raisin, pistachio and lemon flavours, but because these all tasted so good, we had to try the Amaretto & sour cherry, fig and chocolate. This is perhaps the best gelato we have experienced anywhere.

Da Vinci’s Italian Restaurant is fully licenced but allows BYO on Monday & Tuesday evenings. Open Monday through Friday 5pm-9.30pm and Saturday & Sunday Lunch 11am-3pm and Dinner 5pm-late.

 

 

Da Vinci’s Italian Restaurant

25 Lackey Street, Summer Hill, 2131   Phone 9716 9000

www.davincispizzeria.com.au     www.gelatony.com.au 

Sandra Tiltman     Photos: John Pond

 
screenshot_1252

 

 

 

Advertisements

HYATT REGENCY HOTEL RETURNS TO SYDNEY

June 24, 2016

hyatt-gh_2_med

Travellers to Sydney, as well as locals, will be pleased to learn that at midnight on 30 November 2016 the Four Points by Sheraton hotel at 161 Sussex Street, will be rebranded to Hyatt Regency Sydney, marking the Hyatt Regency brand’s return.

Following a significant $250 million redevelopment and refurbishment, Hyatt Regency Sydney will enjoy an unparalleled location in the Sydney Central Business District adjacent to Darling Harbour, providing the perfect setting for corporate, leisure plus meeting and hyatt-gh_med_1events programs. This expansion will also include a new 24 storey tower and 222 additional guestrooms, making Hyatt Regency Sydney the largest upscale, full service hotel in Australia with a total room count of 892. Additionally, the hotel will introduce a 272 seat all day dining restaurant and will also feature the only hotel rooftop bar in Sydney and a Regency Club lounge with stunning panoramic views of the harbour.

“We are thrilled to bring the Hyatt Regency brand back to Sydney,” said David Udell, group president-Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “Hyatt hotels have been operating in Australia for more than 30 years, providing a solid foundation for future growth in what is a dynamic market. This hotel will resonate with business and leisure travellers alike and furthermore, we believe this hotel will be a leader in providing outstanding exhibition and function spaces so meeting planners can enable attendees to have a great experience.”

There are more than 160 conveniently located Hyatt Regency urban and resort locations in over 30 countries around the world.

Sandra Tiltman


CHOCOLATE & COFFEE ON “SILVER SPIRIT”

June 24, 2016

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Two of the world’s most popular indulgences, chocolate and coffee will be a highlight on board ultra-luxury cruise line Silversea’s “Silver Spirit” when she sets sail in November this year on a 17 day voyage round trip of Barbados and Brazil. Passengers will enjoy such unforgettable experiences as wandering the picturesque rain forests and exploring exotic flora and fauna of the Amazon.

Sandra Tillman with our Personal Butler on Silver Spirit

Sandra Tiltman with our Personal Butler on Silver Spirit

During this voyage, passengers will also have the opportunity to taste the finest chocolate and coffee the region and this world, has to offer. Daily coffee tastings by Illy’s Università del Caffè and single origin chocolate presentations from Domori accompanied by coffee and chocolate presentations and tastings of Neapolitan cakes desserts and gelatos will be hard to say no to.

Silversea has just unveiled its new 2017 Voyages and Expeditions digital brochure which is now available at Silversea.com/brochures, said Karen Christensen, Silversea’s General Manager & Director Sales / Marketing, Australasia.

Sandra Tiltman   Photos: John Pond

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Silver Spirit’s Elegant Main Dining Room

 

 


3 STAGE SHOWS TO WOW SYDNEY

June 21, 2016
Singing' in the Rain

Singing’ in the Rain

Theatre lovers in Sydney will be spoilt for choice with three fantastic stage shows on offer in the coming months.

From 7 July 2016, for three weeks only, “Singin’ in the Rain” will be performing at the Sydney Lyric Theatre after a sell-out West End season, unparalleled praise from critics and audiences alike, four Olivier Award nominations, a major UK tour and New Zealand season plus a forthcoming Asian Tour.

Singing' in the Rain

Singing’ in the Rain

This splash-hit West End stage production has an all Australian cast, starring Adam Garcia in the lead role of Don Lockwood. Jack Chambers plays his sidekick Cosmo Brown, with Gretel Scarlett as Kathy Selden and Erika Heynatz as Lina Lamont. “Singin’ in the Rain” also stars Robyn Arthur, Rodney Dobson and Mike Bishop alongside an incredible supporting cast of twenty of Australia’s brightest musical theatre performers.

This popular musical with its joyous story should thrill Sydney audiences after opening to rave reviews in Melbourne. The high-octane choreography, superb score, sumptuous sets and costumes plus the exhilarating spectacle of rain live on stage will be an experience not to miss.

Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors

“Singin’ in the Rain” plays Tuesday 7pm, Wednesday-Saturday 7.30pm with matinees on Wednesday 1pm, Saturday 2pm and Sunday 3pm.

Back by popular demand, the cult musical comedy “Little Shop of Horrors” will be returning to Sydney on 20 July for ten days only. Audiences will have one final opportunity to see this 5-star production in all its glory at the Roslyn Packer Theatre. Starring Brent Hill as Seymour and Esther Hannaford as Audrey, the production will be bigger and better than before.

Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors

This gleefully gruesome musical also stars Tyler Coppin as Mr Mushnik, Scott Johnson as the Dentist plus Angelique Cassimatis, Josie Lane, Chloe Zuel, Dash Kruck and Kuki Tipoki. They have joined forces with master puppet makers Erth who have created a brand new Audrey II for the 21st century.

Featuring a book and rocking doo-wop music by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin), the score includes the popular songs ‘Feed Me’, ‘Suddenly Seymour’ and ‘Somewhere That’s Green’.

“Little Shop of Horrors” plays Tuesday 7pm, Wednesday-Saturday 8pm with matinees on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.

Shadowland

Shadowland

International theatre sensation “Shadowland”, the ground-breaking new performance by internationally acclaimed dance troupe Pilobolus, will be performing four shows only at Sydney’s State Theatre from 2 September 2016.

As the first theatrical event of its kind to tour the globe, “Shadowland” incorporates multiple moving screens of different sizes and shapes to create an evening length performance that merges projected images and front of screen choreography which is best described as part shadow act, part dance, part circus and part concert.

“Shadowland” plays Friday and Saturday at 8.00pm with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm.

Sandra Tiltman


LODGE TAPAS WILL HAVE YOU RETURNING

June 11, 2016

 

Lodge Tapas Restaurant, Lane Cove, Sydney, Australia

Lodge Tapas Restaurant, Lane Cove, Sydney, Australia

Modern Australian fusion restaurant, Lodge Tapas, in the heart of Lane Cove, has been operating for three years, tempting diners with tapas inspired share plates to unique dinner menu options.

Situated directly opposite the Lloyd Rees Bandstand in the Plaza Section of Burns Bay Road, Lodge Tapas provides a casual, family friendly environment, where diners can enjoy a hearty breakfast, coffee and cake, a leisurely lunch or a three course a la carte dinner

Matthew Lines, Co-owner, Lodge Tapas

Matthew Lines, Co-owner, Lodge Tapas

Lodge Tapas offers specials throughout the week including “kids eat free” every night after 5 pm, when an accompanying adult orders a main course, plus every day is “happy hour” from 4pm-6pm with beer, cocktails, wine and tapas dishes offered at discounted prices. Their Mexican Fiesta menu on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 pm is another great option.

Driving from the Eastern Suburbs to Lane Cove is a breeze, taking only 20 minutes thanks to the freeway. Parking is not a problem, with on street and parking lot spaces available.

Beetroot Cured Salmon with Pickled Vegetables

Beetroot Cured Salmon with Pickled Vegetables

On arrival at Lodge Tapas we were warmly greeted by their friendly staff, then shown to a table at the front of the restaurant where we could watch the passing parade.

We tried selections from both the Lunch and Dinner Menu as we wished to taste a range of their popular dishes.

The Beetroot Cured Salmon with Pickled Vegetables was a perfect starter to get our taste buds going. The delicate flavour of the salmon was given a boost by the pickled vegetables.

Hand Made Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms, Goats Cheese and Truffle Oil

Hand Made Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms, Goats Cheese and Truffle Oil

The Warm Wild Rice Salad that followed included apple, rocket, endive and cashew nuts proved to be a very satisfying balance that lead us into the Hand Made Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms, Goats Cheese and Truffle Oil. The soft pillows of gnocchi were perhaps the best we have tasted and would recommend this dish to pasta lovers as one not to miss. After trying many versions of gnocchi, both in Australia and around the world, we believe it to be one of those dishes that really sets chefs apart, and we are happy to say that the gnocchi at Lodge Tapas is first class.

When the Zucchini Fries with Zatar and Aoili arrived on the table, we could not stop eating them.

Zucchini Fries with Zatar and Aoili

Zucchini Fries with Zatar and Aoili

We found room for the Double Cooked Pork Belly with Granny Smith Apple Puree, Grilled Scallop and Vegetable Chips. The pork was juicy and delicious with perfect crackling. The grilled scallop was a welcome accompaniment, as were the crunchy vegetable chips.

Double Cooked Pork Belly with Granny Smith Apple Puree, Grilled Scallop and Vegetable Chips

Double Cooked Pork Belly with Granny Smith Apple Puree, Grilled Scallop and Vegetable Chips

We could not do justice to dessert so decided to take home two of their treats from the selection of baked cakes and biscuits, that are made on the premises. Sugar free and dairy free desserts are available.

Owners, Matthew and Marketa Lines’ philosophy on food is that it needs to be full of flavour and cooked to perfection. Sydney born Matthew has been in the hospitality industry since finishing school 25 years ago. With a passion for service, Matthew loves being able to offer people a great experience. Marketa grew up in the Czech Republic in a hospitality family who owned 3 restaurants, where she waited tables and learnt the family business.

IMG_9047 (1)

Head chef Kyoung Sub Cha is responsible for the flavours. Arriving in Sydney from South Korea in 2003, he has worked at Aria, Westin Hotel & Wolfies/Waterfront. His menu is modern Australian with an Asian influence that canvasses dishes from all over the world.

Lodge Tapas is open Monday-Saturday 7.30am to 10pm & Sunday 7.30am to 4pm

24 Burns Bay Road, Lane Cove, NSW, 2066 Phone: (02) 9420 1629   www.lodgetapas.com.au

Sandra Tiltman     Photos: John Pond


TAKE THE WATERLINE CHALLENGE

June 11, 2016
Julian Day with Craig Laundy MP, Gary Ella & Layne Beachley AO

Julian Day with Craig Laundy MP, Gary Ella & Layne Beachley AO

After surviving cancer three times as a child, Julian Day grew a passion for being outdoors, walking and celebrating every day. Having walked the entire New South Wales coast and raising more than $40,000, he is now on a mission to unite all Australians along and DSC09072around our famous waterlines, beaches, river systems, lakes and waterways, to raise funds to conquer adversity in our communities.

When Julian launched The Waterline Challenge recently, he stated that his aim is to inspire people and communities within the 48 hour period between 16-18 September 2016, to circumnavigate Australia’s entire coastline. The goal is to encourage more than 100,000 people to raise over $20 million for up to 25 charities.

Julian said “This is an event for everyone. We encourage involvement from people of all walks of life and with as much creativity as you can imagine to walk, run, cycle, canoe, kayak, sail, row, swim, or stand up and paddle board the waterlines of Australia. Belonging, feeling engaged and being part of something is the key to creating real change. At the heart of The Waterline Challenge is our goal to help conquer adversity and promote corporate social responsibility, community involvement, health and fitness and environment and conservation”.

The Waterline Challenge is proud to have four key Patrons, The Hon. Wendy Baden-Powell, granddaughter of Sir Robert Baden-Powell, Craig Laundy MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, John Alexander AO MP, tennis great and member for Bennelong, John Konrads, swimming legend and Olympic champion and Gary Parson, ultra-marathon runner.

Julian also has the support of many high profile ambassadors including Layne Beachley AO, Guy Leach, Gary Ella, Geoff Heugill, Cr. Christine Forster, Charlie Lynn, Jim Maxwell, Matt Levy (Paralympic swimmer), Hannah Davis (Olympic medallist in kayak) & Liesl Tesch (Paralympic basketballer and sailor).

To join The Waterline Challenge, register your team to run, swim, kayak, wheelchair or walk any part of Australia’s coastline, rivers, lakes and waterways http://waterlinechallenge.org/register-a-team/

Sandra Tiltman     Photos: John Pond

 


CELEBRATE VIVID SYDNEY

June 4, 2016

 

Vivid Sydney 2015, Media Preview at Customs House 21/5/2015. Photo Credit - James Horan/Destination NSW

Photo Credit – James Horan/Destination NSW

Now in its eighth year, Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, is currently delighting Sydneysiders and visitors, with its light installations and projections that are transforming landmarks and city buildings into illuminated items of beauty.

Over the past years Vivid has proved to be so popular that this year, the festival has been extended, and now runs until 18 June 2016.

 Picture Credit James Horan/ Destination NSW


Picture Credit James Horan/ Destination NSW

To experience Vivid in all its glory and to view the larger light installations from a different perspective, one of the best ways is to watch the projections and changing colours from a cruise on Sydney Harbour. FantaSea Cruises run up to five cruises each evening in a round trip from Darling Harbour, away from the crowds, in comfortable surroundings, visitors are able to see the main Vivid precincts – Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Lights, The Royal Botanical Gardens, Luna Park and Walsh Bay.

There are more than 80 light installations and projections on display in the main precincts, including a new site in The Royal Botanic Gardens that has a 60 metre long tunnel illuminated by tens of thousands of LED lights.

Cruising under the Sydney Harbour Bridge with its display of cascading light given off from the 100,000 LED lights should prove to be an unforgettable experience. As the Opera House comes into view, the artwork of six Indigenous Australian artists, in a work called Songlines, will be projected each evening.

Sailing past The Royal Botanic Gardens, which is celebrating its 200th birthday this year, one of the highlights of the cruise will come into view. The Cathedral of Light consists of a 70 metre long tunnel that is illuminated by tens of thousands of LED light globes. When viewed from a distance, this installation appears as a single solid shape of bright light that illuminates its surroundings.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is always one of the best attractions at Vivid. Looking westward, its true grandeur comes to the fore, showing off its constantly changing palette of coloured lights.

DSC09175Cruising back up to Walsh Bay the happy face of Luna Park comes into view before turning into Darling Harbour.

FantaSea Cruises depart Darling Harbour (Pier 26, Wharf 9) each Sunday to Thursday at 6pm & 7.30pm and on Friday & Saturday at 6pm, 7.30pm & 9pm.

From Darling Harbour (King Street Wharf 9) the cruises depart each Sunday to Thursday at 6.45pm and on Friday & Saturday at 6.45pm & 8.15pm (4,10,11,17,18 June). www.fantasea.com.au – 1800 326 822

The FantaSea Vivid cruises run for 75 minutes duration but for those who desire a different experience, they provide other creative and flexible harbour cuises, from water taxis to the large comfortable catamarans.

Vivid runs every night until 18 June 2016, no matter what the weather conditions.

Sandra Tiltman